Michael Strahan can’t seem to escape that daytime drama!
The former athlete notoriously blindsided Kelly Ripa last year by quitting Live! for a full time job on Good Morning America — and it looks like tensions may have followed him to his new time slot.
Sources are claiming that Strahan has been getting special treatment since joining the ABC morning show, and his fellow GMA anchors are sick of it!
According to Page Six, producers have been giving the affable anchor extra opportunities, while the veteran cohosts are left in the dust. An insider said:
“They roll out the carpet for [Strahan] while seasoned talent is treated like dirt. He’s been given a lot of opportunity, flexibility, when the others who have been working there longer don’t get that kind of treatment.”
Some of this treatment could be Strahan signing a special deal that allows him to continue analyzing football at Fox NFL Sunday and to host ABC’s $100,000 Pyramid.
But Strahan’s additional GMA assignments are leaning on other anchors’ territories — namely pop anchor Lara Spencer, who “feels like her role has been minimized with Strahan.” The source added:
“They know how to put it on for the cameras, but he’s doing a lot of what Lara should be doing [on the show] and she’s not happy. She’s the pop person.”
However, the pop expert isn’t the only anchor allegedly angsty over Strahan’s widening scope.
The insider says even seasoned anchor George Stephanopoulos is losing interest with the morning program, explaining:
“He’s bored with the fluff. He goes into work, does the show and leaves by 8:57 a.m. He doesn’t interact. He’s been phoning it in for quite some time.”
Sounds like things are tense!
Though ABC News reps insist the GMA team has welcomed Strahan with open arms. An exec for the network said of the rumors:
“That’s just bullshit. They get along great. She loves having someone with his sense of humor on the show. Michael is lovely with the staff… And as for Lara, she has far more airtime in the 8 a.m. hour and is loving the studio audience.”
Supposedly, there are new perks for everyone — especially Stephanopoulos! The exec went on to say the news reporter has never been more engaged, insisting:
“The idea that George is phoning it in is absurd. He gets to GMA at, like, 3 in the morning. He works 16 hours a day. He goes home because he does all of the special reports in addition to GMA, and he’s calling sources and getting ready for his Sunday show. He comes back to the office in the afternoon… And he’s incredibly engaged in the news coming out of DC right now.”
Drama or not, network reps made it clear the incorporation of Strahan is quite possibly the best thing GMA could have done for its ratings. A rep said:
“We’ve tripled our lead over the ├óΓé¼╦£Today’ show [in total viewers]. The show has never been better.”
Translation: save the drama for Live With Kelly!
[Image via ABC.]